British Columbia

Teachers' strike: What happens if there's a full walkout?

The earliest possible date for a full strike and school closures across B.C. would be Monday, June 16. The last nine days of school could be affected for many students, but the government says provincial exams will go ahead.

B.C. teachers vote Monday and Tuesday whether to move to a full strike as the school year ends

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With the rotating strike entering its third week, B.C. teachers are set to vote on Monday and Tuesday on whether or not they want to escalate the job action to a full walkout.

Results of a strike vote are expected Tuesday night. The union is required to give three days notice before members walk off the job.

That means the earliest possible date for school closures across B.C. would be Monday, June 16 and that could impact the last nine days of school

The B.C. Government issued a statement Sunday addressed to parents of school-aged children explaining that every effort will be made to ensure report cards and exams aren't impacted.

"The Ministry of Education and the British Columbia Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA) want to assure parents that every effort is being made to ensure the strike does not disadvantage students, nor delay their transition to the next grade or on to post-secondary," the statement says.

What the full strike would mean for students in Kindergarten up to Grade 9:

  • Schools would be closed.
  • Parents should make child care arrangements, where required.
  • Final report cards will be sent to parents, but written comments may be shorter than usual.

What the full strike would mean for students in Grades 10, 11 and 12:

  • Secondary schools would likely only be open for the purpose of administering exams.
  • Picket lines could be present outside schools.
  • Students in rural areas may not have normal school bus service.
  • Provincial exams will be marked and final marks will be sent out in as timely a manner as possible.
The Ministry of Education says final exams will go ahead, and all efforts will be made to have exams graded and marks distributed in a timely manner. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

The Ministry of Education says the BCPSEA has asked the Labour Relations Board to deem the work required for the completion of report cards as an essential service.

The ministry says "B.C. post-secondary institutions are aware there is a chance that the strike might interfere with the normal flow of final student marks," but also says the potential delay won't affect many students planning to attend post-secondary programs in September, as most have already been admitted based on current marks.

Schedule for B.C.'s provincial exams

June 16-26

  • Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics 10 Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-Calculus 10 (Schools may schedule these sessions at any time after June 16.)

June 18

  • Science 10 (only for schools that require an early session) 
  • Apprenticeship and Workplace Mathematics 10 Foundations of Mathematics 
  • Pre-Calculus 10

June 19

  • BC First Nations Studies 12 

June 20

  • English 12
  • English 10 First Peoples
  • Communications 12
  • Français langue première 10

June 23

  • Français langue seconde-immersion 12
  • Français langue première 12
  • Science 10
  • Civic Studies 11

June 24

  • English 12 First Peoples
  • English 10
  • Social Studies 11

Source: B.C. Ministry of Education

With files from The Canadian Press


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